Bahrain’s foreign minister has stressed that his country is keen on expanding its economic ties with Iran, particularly “in oil and gas fields.”
“Iran has a valuable status and expertise in the oil industry,” SHANA news agency quoted Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammad Al Khalifa as saying on Saturday.
Bahrain’s top diplomat added that Manama would welcome more energy cooperation with Tehran, noting the “vast oil and gas resources of Bahrain” and the two countries’ shared “geographical potentials.”
“We are negotiating and cooperating with Iran in this field and we believe that the cooperation can be enhanced,” he said.
The comments came as Iran is mulling over the outlines of a joint agreement with Bahrain for the export of Iranian natural gas to the Persian Gulf state.
Earlier in September, Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister Javad Oji said that Iranian and Bahraini officials met in Tehran to discuss measures for the establishment of a joint commission to increase cooperation in the natural gas sector.
“If [a deal is] finalized, a new natural gas pipeline will be built under the Persian Gulf waters. The pipeline is expected to transfer one billion cubic feet of Iran’s gas to Bahrain,” said Oji, who also heads the National Iranian Gas Export Company.
A joint working group has been set up to facilitate the signing of the major gas deal between the two regional states.
The Iranian energy ministry official further pointed out that the gas transfer will be carried out in two phases, explaining that 500 cubic feet of natural gas will be sent to Bahrain each day in the first stage, while up to one billion feet of gas is expected to be dispatched to the Persian Gulf state if a final agreement is reached on the issue.
Iran holds the world’s second largest-natural gas reserves after Russia.